Progress Update No.6

Welcome to our progress update No.6! I’am LieutenantK, the project manager of the Bundeswehr Mod for SQUAD. With this blog update we are presenting our progress of the first half of 2022. You can expect to read about the status of weapons and vehicle development, as well as our progress in level design.

We are showing you progress in the most important areas with this update: Faction Weapons, Faction Vehicles and Leveldesign. With our Christmas Special Blog we promised you a deeper dive into our level design efforts and that’s exactly what awaits you here. Make sure to click through the picture galleries below, so you may not miss any of our awesome pictures this time!

Faction: Player Weapons & Utility Items

The famous German “Panzerfaust 3” is finished! While Avery modeled the 3D model, Saber Rider did an awesome job refining and texturing the piece in a very realistic way. We are very proud of our new anti tank weapon. Once the different warheads (HEAT, Tandem, Bunkerfaust) are textured too, integration into the game can begin.

Here you can see the current progress with our marksman rifle (DMR) – the H&K G28. The weapon is based on the HK417 with 7,62 mm caliber, but it received several modifications to become a more precise long range weapon for distances of up to 600 – 800 m. While the double optics, a long range scope from Schmidt & Bender and a short range red dot from Aimpoint, provide the capability both for long range engagements and CQB fights alike (yes, this is standard with the Bundeswehr). A bipod will provide a necessary rest for distance engagements and it will raise the precision considerably. Mind, our faction will also receive a designated Sniper role, equipped with a G22A2 sniper rifle in .300 Winchester Magnum!

K|D Lenni is one of our newest modders. Many might recognize him from past years of SQUAD fun, since he is a long standing member of our gaming community. We were happy to have him and here he shows us his skills with his first piece of work: The Bundeswehr service Pistol, a H&K P8 in 9 mm para-bellum. Great job so far. Keep it up buddy!

Also Below you see our very own Bundeswehr bandage, with original imprints, made by Cpt. Brotzeit and KnoblauchKnut:

Bundeswehr Faction: Vehicles

Just look at this beauty! Our Wiesel MK20 received an awesome paint job by SomeKevin! Mind, it is not finished yet and will receive some more details in the near future. Still: I believe it is already a master piece. The Wiesel is a so called “Waffenträger” or “Gun Carrier”. It was originally designed as an air drop able support weapon for the German Fallschirmjäger’s (Paratroopers) and serves today also with the standard infantry “Jäger” units as fire support in difficult terrain. The MK20 auto cannon will fire with a cadence of an MG (1.200 RPM), but it hurls 20 mm AP or HE ammunition at it’s targets. The player can switch between the ammo types, since it is a dual feed weapon. The Wiesel MK20 should be “disgusting” for it’s enemies, even without gun stabilization… Mind, the Wiesel TOW comes next!

Our very newest member MrChulo is an artist specialized in aviation models. He is helping us currently with “Germanizing” the Aussie MH90 to the Bundeswehr NH90 version. It will be available both in a troop transport and a logistical configuration. As soon as the MG3 mounts on both sides are readily modeled, MrChulo will begin with new German textures for it! And once this is has been done, he will begin his work with the German CH53, a heavy lift Helicopter with double the carrying capacity of the NH90 logistics variant in terms of FOB supply points.

Above you can see the gunner screen of the FLW200, one of two standard remote weapons stations on Bundeswehr vehicles. It can operate both a cal. 50 HMG and a automatic grenade launcher. Our artists Knoblauch Knut and Cpt. Brotzeit outdid themselves with this, in my opinion! It looks nearly 100% like the real deal and most of the elements on screen work in game! This includes the gun elevation indicator, the turret position indicator, the compass, the laser distance measure and more. Wow!

Leveldesign: Battle For Zillbach

Time for a deep dive into our map development, isn’t it? After a lot of struggle and basically completely re-doing our map project “Fulda Gap”, we are proud to say: We are on track. The first playable area of the 64 km² big map is called “Battle for Zillbach”. Zillbach is a typical hessian village, with a mix of around 35 older and newer buildings, both of residential purpose and connected to traditional farming or cattle herding.

The village is situated on a hilly plateau valley, next to the Autobahn A7 towards Munich, Bavaria. The NATO forces mission is to slow down russian forces, which are pushing for the control of the south of Germany. The A7 has a lot of Autobahn viaducts, which must be destroyed by NATO to stop the Russian advance (Check out our working destructible environment for SQUAD). Once these significant viaducts are destroyed and blocked, the Russians will be forced to use the alternative route over the bespoke plateau next to the Autobahn A7 and our Zillbach, surrounded by a dense hessian forest, is right in the midst of it!

The German defence strategy includes the fortifying of this major choke point, so the Russians may be slowed down further or even stopped. Zillbach becomes a “Festung”, through well prepared field fortifications. The Bundeswehr dag deep trenches, for the infantry to move around the village without getting shot at, tank ditches equipped with tank traps, to stop Russian mechanized forces breakthrough’s and fortified buildings, which provide a protected overview and elevated fighting positions for NATO forces (We tested it: The new custom made trenches can be driven over by most vehicles in SQUAD! They are wide enough, so two infantry soldiers can walk next to each other.).

The Russians will make use of their artillery to whittle down the Zillbach fortifications, so a part of the village will lay in ruins for the player. At the same time, their forces will try to control the heights around the village, which are protected by more trenches and field bunkers, hidden on the edges of the forests. If the NATO forces lose control of these important strategical heights, the Russians will be able to encircle Zillbach and cut off reinforcements (The playable area will be roughly 3×3 km at first). Below we are showing you, how we are designing points of interest (POI) on the map:

Our terrain or “geo-mesh” is based of real world satellite data. We reduced a area of 10×10 km to the maximum possible map size of 8×8 km, to include more POI’s. While the roads and Autobahn are drawn by hand, the terrain textures and the forest placement works mostly with automated methods. This allowed us to place over 200.000 trees already and in a timely fashion! After the rough placement of automated elements is done, the leveldesign team is working it’s way through major points of interest in a pre determined fashion. The work on a specific area usually begins with a military perspective in mind: How would a defender reinforce fighting positions? How could a attacker dislodge a defending force? Once this first assessment is being done, we create battlefield sketches to visualize the general idea to the Leveldesign Team. They then continue to sculpt the area towards a playable point of interest, following the sketches. All of this is being done by hand and very often the player won’t be able to see all of the ideas which were put in place. But we are striving to help bring SQUAD to a more realistic gaming experience, so we put in thousands of hours to make this a reality. We hope the community will like the challenges and experiences, which come with a raised degree of realism in level design!

Speaking of realism, please give a warm round of applause to our Leveldesign Team and KnoblauchKnut, which are looking out for some amazing and unique details for you to experience! Since many of you ask the question VERY often: The map and the faction are already running on a test server! While we are still busy with finishing / animating / programming individual items such as weapons and vehicles, we hope it might be possible to playtest the Zillbach layout of Fulda Gap and our V1 Faction soonish.

Please stand by for more info’s about the ongoing development in autumn and mind: We are an unpaid collective of free time modders and we are doing what we can to finish our work as soon as possible. But please mind, “real life” tends to be unpredictable these times and some times we prefer to take more time to get things on AA or AAA level – so please don’t be mad or sad, if we can’t exactly pinpoint when everything will be ready to rock!

If you are interested in more frequent updates, please make sure to join our discord and keep an eye out for our Mod-Art and Announcement channel there. If you want to support us and our running costs (server costs, software licences, level props and so on) financially, feel free to send a tip our way.

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Your money is only used to help cover our costs, no salaries are paid from it. We also support other modding teams in the SQUAD community with our resources, so your donation will be well placed with us!

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Many thanks for helping us with the test server:
Squad Europe Community

Have a great summer everyone, stay healthy and let’s hope Ukraine remains free and in peace again very soon! | LieutenantK out O7